Fall practice: day six second session

Friday's practice schedule included a morning practice and a later practice, both open to the public. With about 750 people in attendance for the later session, the Cougars ran through a team scrimmage to the delight of the crowd.

The start of Friday's second practice included all the normal position-mastery development, drills and practice activities. However, what was different about Friday's second practice was the team period.

The defense took the field with five defensives backs comprised of safeties Carter Mees, Travis Uale and Daniel Sorensen and corners Corby Eason and DeQuan Everett. Austen Jorgensen, Uona Kaveinga, Jordan Pendleton and Kyle Van Noy were the linebackers.

Looking up at the practice clock, it was easy to understand why so many defensive skill position players had taken to the field. The clock read two minutes as the Cougar offense lined up in a spread formation readied for the snap. This session was geared toward attacking in a long-distance two-minute situation.

Jake Heaps took the field with the first-team offense. Z-receiver Ross Apo caught the first pass, followed by a strike to H-receiver J.D. Falslev on the second play of the drive. After an incompletion to Marcus Mathews at the Y-position, Heaps scrambled out of the backfield after feeling the heat. The whistle blew and a defensive sack was recorded as linebackers flooded the backfield.

The drive ended after Heaps was flushed out of the pocket in a scramble around the outside.

The second series of the two-minute drill featured Riley Nelson and the second-team offense. The offense fared well and Nelson led the team to a first down, but on the second series safety Daniel Sorensen put a quick stop to it all by reading the play, cutting on a pass and getting the interception.

With only 46 seconds left on the clock, Heaps took the field and drove the offense with a quick strike to X-receiver McKay Jacobson. Jacobson's quick catch and turn upfield while dodging defenders elicited cheers from the crowd, but the next play would go to the defense.

Middle linebacker Uona Kaveinga decided to get into the action. Reading the route, Kaveinga ducked under a crossing route and tipped the ball in the air, nearly coming down with an interception.

The best play of the two-minute scrimmage came by way of a 21-yard strike from Heaps to Hoffman, who turned on the jets and split the safeties. With a tag, he was called down at the 14-yard line with 14 seconds left on the clock.

In the blue zone, the offense lined up. Heaps dropped back and just barely missed a corner fade to Apo.

With about 12 seconds left on the clock, Coach Mendenhall called out the field goal unit, with Daniel "Golden Shoes" Sorensen kicking for a few reps. Sorensen went 2-of-3, barely missing the longest kick for a distance of about 40 yards.

Side notes

It's clear that the H-receiver position is back with Falslev, J.J. Di Luigi and Matt Marshall, and it won't be a position that's primarily used in a two-minute drill, but a part of the normal offense.

It is also clear that the secondary is still being tested to see who will emerge as the starting corners. It also appears that the nickelback is also still being considered, as players were constantly being rotated in and out.

Visitors in the crowd

BYU basketball recruit Nick Emery watched the Cougar football team practice during the later session.

Also, former Cougar defensive tackle Jason Buck was there to watch the Cougars practice for a bit.

Former BYU safety Andrew Rich was in attendance watching the players run through their position drills and team scrimmaging. Rich has left the Arizona Cardinals and feels life would be much better served spending time being healthy with his wife while finishing up his BYU education.

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